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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Written Sketches              239

old joke, but he had not expected it at that particular moment,
and on the top of such an innocent remark.

The Return of the Jews to Palestine

A man called on me last week and proposed gravely that I
should write a book upon an idea which had occurred to a
friend of his, a Jew living in New Bond Street. It was a plan
requiring the co-operation of a brilliant writer and that was
why he had come to me. If only I would help, the return of
the Jews to Palestine would be rendered certain and easy.
There was no trouble about the poor Jews, he knew how he
could get them back at any time ; the difficulty lay with the
Rothschilds, the Oppenheims and such; with my assistance,
however, the thing could be done.

I am afraid I was rude enough to decline to go into the
scheme on the ground that I did not care twopence whether
the Rothschilds and Oppenheims went back to Palestine or
not. This was felt to be an obstacle ; but then he began to
try and make me care, whereupon, of course, I had to get
rid of him. [1883.]

The Great Bear's Barley-Water

Last night Jones was walking down with me from Staple Inn
to Clifford's Inn, about 10 o'clock, and we saw the Great Bear
standing upright on the tip of his tail which was coming out
of a chimney pot. Jones said it wanted attending to. I said :

" Yes, but to attend to it properly we ought to sit up with
it all night, and if the Great Bear thinks that I am going to sit
by his bed-side and give him a spoonful of barley-water every
ten minutes, he will find himself much mistaken." [1892.]

The Cock Tavern

I went into Fleet Street one Sunday morning last November
[1882] with my camera lucida to see whether I should like to
make a sketch of the gap made by the demolition of the Cock
Tavern. It was rather pretty, with an old roof or two behind
and scaffolding about and torn paper hanging to an exposed
party-wall and old fireplaces and so on, but it was not very